E ach Interact club is encouraged to perform at least two service projects a year: one that benefits the school or community and one that furthers international understanding. Below you’ll find examples of several community and international Interact projects undertaken around the world.
The Interact Club of Fredericksburg High School, Fredericksburg, Texas, USA , knows that having fun and volunteering go hand in hand. From the club’s Kiss the Goat project, which required the teacher with the most money in his or her fundraising jar to kiss the school mascot, to the Flamingo Ransom, which distributed flocks of pink plastic lawn flamingos throughout the town, the Interactors are dedicated to bettering their community with a smile.
For the flamingo project, people paid a $5 “ransom” to the Interact club to remove the “migrating” birds, then could then choose their next nesting ground. The two-week fundraiser raised $600 for a campus beautification project.
The Interact Club of Delone Catholic High School, McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, USA , partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in a program called Pennies for Patients. The national program allows children to help other children who are battling leukemia, the disease responsible for the most deaths of young people ages 2 to 15, and related cancers. The money raised is used to fund patient aid, programs, and research. The Interact club sent out information and equipped every classroom at Delone Catholic High School with a jar so students could donate their change. In the end, the school collected $1,000.
With the support of the Rotary Club of Keene, New Hampshire, USA , 25 young people from the Interact Club of Keene High School traveled to El Salvador to donate a 43-foot container full of relief items to help victims of the 2001 earthquake there. The goods, which were collected by the Interactors, included US$40,000 worth of medical supplies, mattresses, bedding, clothes, toys, a wheelchair, and 30 sewing machines. Dozens of beds among the shipment were earmarked for an AIDS ward at the Rosales Hospital in San Salvador, and several local clinics were cosponsored by the Rotary clubs of Cuscutlan and Noreste. Accompanied by five Rotarians, the Interactors worked with families whose homes had been badly damaged to demolish five irreparable buildings, rebuild four houses, and paint three others. The teens also helped install five solar-powered water purification systems in five villages to help avert the threat of waterborne diseases. In addition to delivering stuffed animals and food to an orphanage, they played dodgeball, basketball, and other games with the orphans and put on a puppet show. The Interactors also visited a drug rehabilitation center, to which they donated 90 sheets and pillowcases.
A group of 50 Japanese Interactors from Fukui, Nara, Kyoto, and Shiga , traveled to Thailand to donate hearing aids to a school for the deaf. The teens had raised US$4,630 to purchase 10 hearing aids for students at Anusarn Sunthorn School in Chiang Mai. When the Interactors presented the devices, they were met by overjoyed teachers and students. They also visited families living in slums and pitched in with domestic chores. In addition, the teens donated 150 Japanese picture books to a local library and helped glue Thai translations into them. The Rotary Club of Chiang Mai hosted the Interactors, who were treated to an unforgettable experience of fellowship when the Chiang Mai club and 11 other Rotary clubs in the district organized a party in their honor.
Let us know
RI wants to hear about outstanding Interact service projects. Please submit the Interact Project Data Form (PDF) to keep us up to date on what your club is doing and how it is serving others. Project descriptions should be as detailed as possible, including information on how the project was organized, who benefited from it, and what results were achieved. Don’t forget to include newspaper clippings or photographs of Interact in action.
Carrying out effective community service projects is key to the success of an Interact club. Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Projects (PDF) provides step-by-step information on selecting and planning projects that address current community concerns. It also discusses public relations, fundraising, and evaluation. This information can be shared with Interact clubs in your district to facilitate their community service endeavors.